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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  July 14, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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i appreciate your time. >> sounds good. >> tonight in our question, i asked you, do you think tea party leaders are doing enough toondemn racism. 10% of you said no, 90% of you said no. that's "the ed show." "hardball" starts right now on the place for politics, msnbc. we'll see you tomorrow night. >> more contraptions. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, postponed. it seems as if every time we expect to hear good news about the gulf oil spill, something goes wrong. well, we woke up today hoping to see the gulf oil leak finally sealed off, but it looks like we're going to have to wait. we'll get the latest from the gulf coast at the top of the show. plus, could the republican party be destroyed from within? congressman bob inglis thinks so. he says the party crowd, the tea
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party crowd and the tv talkers that helped defeat him in south carolina, are pushing the party right and right out of the mainstream. he joins us right here tonight. also, have you had enough yet of all the right wing nonsense about tyranny and how we're becoming a nation of slaves? well, we've tracked a decades long history of conservatives claiming that. liberals are leading the country to military dictatorships, to communist domination into tyranny, and one thinging is consistent with all these predictions is that they have all been wrong. so why do people keep listening? and there are plans to build an islamic center in southern manhattan near the ground zero. of course, those plans have people outraged and the debate is on as to whether it's an insult to 9/11's victims or actually a positive act by moderate islam. and finally, the michele bachmann turnover drive. why are so many people leaving her staff? that's in the sideshow. let's begin with the latest on the spill in the gulf. nbc's news mara schiavocampo
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joins us from venice, louisiana. thank you, mara, for joining us. you know, i went to bed last night thinking, my god, they finally have got a plan. they are going to maybe cap this off. maybe take the oil up into the ships and stop the leak. what happened? >> yeah, chris, you're not the only one. you know, there were very high expectations that for the first time in almost three months, they could stop fresh oil from flowing into the waters of the gulf. they put the new cap in place on earlier this week, and the plan was for them to start integrity testing of the well yesterday, and then late yesterday evening we learned that they were going to postpone that. today we learned that it was administration officials that asked bp to put the brakes on those plans because they have some concerns that they need addressed first. their biggest concern is that this high pressure test will damage the well and make the leak worse. the administration says their operating rule one is do no harm. they have asked bp to postpone this test so that they can meet with them, have their concerns addressed before they give the final authorization to move forward with this. that meeting happened this afternoon.
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it may still be under way right now, and they -- the administration has to give final approval for this, so if bp doesn't adequately address their concerns that this will not make things worse, they may or may not give approval for this high pressure test to continue. chris? >> my question i guess is we thought this was going to be perhaps a short-term solution, that this would perhaps cap off the -- ideally, of course, cap off the spill and secondly maybe take the oil up through a funnel up to the ships where it could be taken away causing no more damage to the gulf. but if -- if there's a danger here that it might cause damage to the well by cutting the pressure off at the top, by capping it against all that you will pressure, wouldn't that be resolved by the relief wells that are being dug now by august? in other words, what is the possible calamity here if sometime in mid-august we're going to have the relief wells cut into the bottom of this well? >> well, here's the thing, and it's essentially what the administration is arguing which is waiting doesn't cause any harm. now, of course, we've seen --
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>> it does. every day we're losing -- >> yes. >> 60,000 barrels a day is the -- is the danger. it's the reality every day. what do you mean do no harm in ? the harm is every second this is going on. >> yes, but, chris, in the sense of creating further damage to the well, which would create a much larger problem that may be much harder to fix. if they focus on containment now and continue on with their plans to complete the relief well, that's something they know that they are able to do. they have been containing for probably about a month now, so they can continue with containment, try to keep as much oil as possible from spilling into the waters of the gulf and continue with that relief well. in other words, if they don't do this test, they could continue what they have been doing and stick with plan "a" which was to complete the relief well and try to shut the well down that way, and that's essentially what the administration is saying which is let's figure out what the possible risks are before we go through with this test and possibly could lead to more damage that would be much harder
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to deal with, chris. >> thanks for your report. nbc's mar rare schiavocampo. john hofmeister was president of shell author. he's the author of "why we hate the oil companies." thank you so much for joining us again, john. you just heard that assessment. what's your view knowing what you just heard? >> well, i think the fundamental issue to cut through the coded language, chris, is there are serious concerns about the integrity of the casing that is the well itself, and that by putting the cap on and doing the stress tests that were being talked about, that the integrity of the steel is insufficient to hold the pressure of the well, and if you lose the casing, it's game over. it's like having a volcano on the bottom of the sea where you'd have no -- if you lose the casing and oil starts coming up on the outside of the casing, you can't stop it. there's nothing you can do that would then stop it other than implode the well. >> oh, i see. >> so i think it's prudent under the conditions that are there, and there are many in the
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industry feel that the casing must have been damaged because of the power of that well, the pressure of that reservoir, and so let's kind of not go to the stress tests until we're ready to go with the -- with the relief wells because the relief well building up a column of heavy mud could be the best case to shut down the flow. >> now, as i understand it, john, correct me where i'm wrong here, the goal was to gradually close this cap so that you're like tightening the funnel so it gets stronger and stronger with pressure in the middle and decide at some point whether that strong pressure coming there is an indication that the well is sound that, there is integrity in the well. i thought that was the plan. what's the risk of gradually letting that pressure come into a narrower and more narrow funnel coming out of there to test its strength and then see whether you can go all the way, and what will they know in a couple of days they don't know now? >> well, if it -- if you were at 200 feet or 400 feet it's one thing.
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you're at 5,000 feet. you don't really know the integrity of that casing throughout the 13,000 feet depth of the well. there could be damage anywhere along the 13,000 feet, and once you stop blocking the oil, you start clamping down on the flow at what might be 30,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, you don't know where that might blow, and i think you'd better be in position to have those relief wells ready to go or actually up and operating before you try to control the flow from the start. i think that's the debate that has to take place. >> right. do you have a sense that the united states government under the leadership of secretary chu at energy and thad allen now an independent consultant with the administration out of the coast guard, that they have any superior knowledge as to the technology over bp because this seems to be the first time in this long saga where the federal government is trumping or apparently ready to trump bp on the issue of technological knowledge.
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>> i think the federal government has reached out to its own experts, chris. i think that secretary chu is a brilliant nobel laureate, but he's never drilled a well. he can hear what others have to say, but he has no firsthand experience, so it's my understanding that they have brought in some of their own expertise that's really talking just to the government, not to bp. >> okay. >> and it is through those sources that they are getting an additional point of view that raises serious questions. there are people out there that have worked with high pressure reservoirs, have had blowouts, have had to deal with the issues. those people are independent of bp, so while bp has great technical capability, don't you really want, if you're the government, to have a third-party point of view, and i think that's what's surfacing now. >> do you have any opinion on this story that's breaking? a number of new york-based senators and new jersey senators are acting now to -- they want an investigation by the senate foreign releases committee, as
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to whether bp, the company involved in this catastrophe had a hand in lobbying the british government to release that man involved with the lockerbie who arer? do you know anything about that? >> well, i know the story generally, but i have no knowledge or insight into whether bp did or did not have dealings. i do know that just as our state department advances the commercial interests of american companies around the world, the counterpart, and it was jack straw at the time, the foreign minister of the uk, does look out for the commercial interests of uk companies. to the extent bp was involved, i have no knowledge. >> what about the "new york times" front page story just dwlaeds basically chronicled the history of bp in terms of it will not being a good player? your assessment. how does bp stack up against the other petroleum companies in terms of safety? >> i think the reputation that would be probably warranted, given the facts, is that bp was not well renowned for its technical savvy, that there were
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other companies that had a better reputation, both for the technical savvy and the operational integrity of how they went about their operations. that's not to say bp is a laggard or a slacker, but it's just to say that within the industry there were people that were sort of ranked in order, and you'd always pretty much rank exxon at the top and shell then chevron, con coand so for the. bp would be somewhere down the list. >> thank you very much. john hofmeister, as always, great to have you on the show. bottom line question, do you have any optimism about the mess in the gulf? do you think we'll deal with this effectively sometime in august in terms that have relief well? do you think it's going to work, this ultimate technology? >> i think the relief well is the best shot for now, but i think there should be a backup plan which says what would we need to do to just produce the well. take all the proceeds from producing the well and use that money selling that oil to restore the gulf of mexico. don't let anybody make a dime of
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profit off of it. just restore the gulf of mexico by producing the well and making that turn into money which can satisfy some of the issues of nature. >> right, okay. >> wetland restoration, et cetera. >> so use the relief well for money, raise the money, bring the oil out, make the money and use it to pay off the people who have been hurt by this? >> no. first try to shut off the flow with the relief well. if that doesn't work, then produce the well. >> okay. thank you very much. john hofmeister, our expert here on "hardball" on this whole catastrophe. yesterday i said the republican party has welcomed all sorts of yahoos. up next republican bob inglis from south carolina says the far right is taking over and corrupting his party. he's no rino. this is a real conservative we've got coming on this show with something like a 5% liberal voting record. is that too much now? 5%? is that the end of a conservative? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. [ man ] ladies and gentlemen,
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the tea party has racked up some big wins already in 2010. they scared senator arlen specter out of the republican primary and watched him lose as a democrat. former alabama democratic congressman parker griffith did the exact opposite. he jumped into the republican primary and lost down there. tea partiers as did senator bob
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bennett at the republican state convention out in utah, they ran charlie crist right out of the republican primary in florida. and bob inglis lost a republican run-up just last month after getting hammered for voting down t.a.r.p. and knock down false rumors about death panels. you're a conservative, right? >> right. i think it's actually 93%. >> you're up to date at 90 what? >> 39%. >> you're not conservative enough for south carolina. >> i need that had extra seven. >> you told the associated pressey think we have a lot of leaders following those television and talk radio personalities and not leading us. we've had a little contest here, as you know, waiting for somebody. you're a lame duck but we've been waiting for somebody to say, i'm not really a ditto head. i don't really follow rush
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limbaugh's thinking. are you ready to be the first or are you still going to hold back? >> i don't follow rush limbaugh's lead. i was in six years and i was out of congress for six years and i was listening to him one day and he was making fun of people in cars with high fuel efficiency. i thought you know, rush, that's it. i turned the radio off because it didn't fit with my dad who's 87 years old. he's my idea of conservative. he used to tell us, we can let off the gas at the tar vers and you coast to our driveway because he's a conservative. >> what happened to teddy roosevelt? wasn't he a great conservative in the republican party? conservationquist. >> con sertism is saving resources and what rush was further making fun of is people driving electric cars with braking. if i make the investment to get up a hill with my gas, why wouldn't i want to generate electricity on the way down the hill. >> rush says a lot of things.
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at the makes fun of everything that tries to deal with conservation issues. what do you make of the glen beck, for example, that fellow? >> well, i've had some celebrated disagreements with the man as you know. so my view is this. really need to be talking credible solutions and not about fear. we need not to be scaring people with misinformation. we need to be talking about credible ideas. that's what conservatives are supposed to be doing. that's what you know, my hero is somebody like ronald reagan. he led with ideas and believed in america and had an optimistic spirit. i'm not sure that ronald reagan could have won in our primary on june 22nd frankly. >> judd gregg say s a northerner but he's a conservativetive. he's retiring this year. here he is was on "hardball" last night talking about his vote for t.a.r.p. wait till you hear what he has to say. >> so many people in your party on the far rig, i don't mean
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the conservative mainstream, the far right are knocking off people like bob bennett in utah, going after people across the border and your party saying t.a.r.p. was evil. >> well, they were wrong. they're on the left you're getting it also. people saying t.a.r.p. is evil and the fed is evil. the simple fact is that t.a.r.p. did what it was supposed to do. >> you know, the last, the last couple months of the bush administration everybody was picking up the paper scared to death. thinking my gud god, we might be facing a great depression and the president to his credit acted. he brought in hank paulson. they took action. graumtic action. you guys voted for it. now everybody's coming back and saying you shouldn't have done that. they weren't there when the bridge was falling down. >> we're hearing the estimates that we were facing a depression rather than a recession. the first $350 billion worth of tarngs the money that went to the banks. the second 350 got into other things, housing and the auto bailouts but the first 350,000
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is going to be and is being repaid in taxpayers will probably reap about an 8% profit on it. pretty good investment really. to save the banking system and to make a profit. >> you sir, strike me as i hate to use the word as someone who's well educated. i know you went to uva law school. is that hurting you? i'm dead serious about this. do you get hurt in the republican party now for having had a fine education. do people think with askance, he's an egg head. is that a problem it's better to be a yahoo! than to be really uneducated like palin to be proud of the fact you don't know anything? >> there is a sense out there that maybe ignorance is strength. but ignorance is really not strength. >> where did that come from. >> here's my view. i'm ignorant of a lot of things. there are a lot of things i need to know. but if i choose to remain ignore rant of those things, that's quite a different matter. so i have a sense of how much i don't know and i need to find
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out a lot of information. i think that's what education gives you is a sense of how much you don't know and let's go find it out. >> what do you make of palin -- she seems like i guess a nice person as a human being but the question she's selling herself as someone, she calls it common sense. i think what he's really selling is i don't read books, newspapers, i don't read magazines. i don't need information. i have common conservative sense. what does that mean to say you know things without having read it or learned anything? what do people know naturally? him. >>? >> i'm concerned about that and more concerned about misinformation. as you pointed out in the lead-in i'm very concerned when people talk about death panels. there were no death panels in that bill and to scare people is not leadership. it's the worst form of leadership. what we really need to be doing is talking credible ideas. we've got people like paul ryan, road map for america's future.
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jeff flake, jack kingston has the right kind of spirit. those folks can lead with ideas. people that want to lead with misinformation and scare people to do things that would not otherwise do, to cower, that's not an american position. what i got in real trouble talking about glen beck, i said, man, if you're afraid turn him off. i was trying to explain i'm not afraid. i'm an american. cowerering is not a position for americans to take. we're the people that go to the moon, the people who went across the prairies before that, that launched tiny boats on great big ocean. that's who americans are. we should be able to face these challenges with optimism the way that my idea of a great president ronald reagan did with great optimism. not with this all going to pot feeling. >> that fear that led rick of texas to talk about secession, race is always an issue in
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america but to rip that scab off, what's that about? is it their fear of change or is it just anger or what? >> i think that we're finding out here that in 2010, we have not fought the fight against the sin of racism and won. we're still in it. we're still dealing with that problem we will always will be. we need to extend grace to one another and have some honesty about it, understanding that we are different but let's find a way to extend grace and get through it. and that's rather than wo pl p up those fears and drive with misinformation reactions against people because of their party or their ethnicity, that's a real problem. >> how do you dpig your state out? it's pretty conservative obviously. it's strom thurmond country in many ways and has people like demint pretty far over and graham conservatives. your parties has nominated an indian american woman, nikki
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haley. knows how to present herself obviously. is that just an interesting little aspect? it's okay to be indian american but we've got a problem with this black president. >> it is interesting. i agree completely that lindsay graham is a regular conservative you just said. a lot of people see him not as that but really he's talking things that are regular conservativism the kind that carol campbell, our great governor frep south carolina, that's the kind of person we're looking for. the challenge right now in south carolina like a lot of places is there's a real reaction against anybody that's an establishment figure or talking about these institutions and trying to build them up. if you build up the institution of the congress, for example and say don't just attack the constitution because when you're attacking the congress, you're attacking the constitution, so people come along and run for governor and attack the institutions, right now it's popular. it works. >> you remind me of one of the really good congress people up
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there. in both parties. thank you for coming on. up next, a republican running for governor in colorado has learn add important lesson in politics. if you've got skeletons in your closet, skeletons, not red skelt skelton, you better let them come out because they're coming out. we'll be right back with the sideshow only on msnbc.
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back to "hardball." now for that sideshow. first, a lesson to pause. those scary skeletons in the closet always come out. today's exhibit, scott mcginnis, front-runner for colorado's republican nomination for governor. back in 2005, mcginnis was paid $300,000 as part of a conservative fellowship to write essays about clean water. the hitch, this week "the denver post" found that large portions
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of those essays he claimed to have written were lifted from the writings of a colorado supreme court justice. when asked about the plagiarism yesterday he blamed his research assistant, someone named raleigh fisher. >> raleigh said, gosh, i did this all the way through, that it was public domain. information in the public domain, that they can put into, so we've got straighten that out. i understand there's some machine or some computer software out there that you can take research and put it in there and it tells you whether or not it's similar to other research. i wasn't aware of that at the time. this is a non-issue if it weren't a political race. it's a political race, and they are going to try and, you know, divert from their weaknesses. >> wow. well, look, he either wrote this stuff or he didn't. this is the common sense part. if he wrote it, it wouldn't exist somewhere else. anyway, it's a bit more than a diversion now. "the denver post" reported today that a separate column and a speech that he mcginnis delivered when he was a
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congressman in the '90s closely resembles a "washington post" column published six weeks before that. mcginnis told the associated press today he's not sure who on his staff was in charge of writing that column and that speech for him. anyway, the moral of the story is only write -- only put your name on something you wrote or only have somebody write something for you you trust. now, moving to senate democratic leader harry reid's republican challenger, sharron angle. why won't she do mainstream media interviews? well, they don't pay off for her campaign. literally. here's angle in a just-posted interview with the christian broadcasting network. >> when you're on fox news or talking to more conservative outlets but maybe not going on a "meet the press" or "this week," those type of shows, then the perception and the narrative starts to be like you're avoiding those mainstream media outlets. >> well, and that audience, will they let me say i need $25 for a million people, go to sharronangle.com, send me money.
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will they let me say that? will i get a bump on my website, you can watch whenever i go on to a show like that, we get an immediate bump. >> it gets lower and lower. anyway, miss angle, if you want to come on "hardball," we'll let you mention your website. you can do it right here. come on, play a little "hardball" with us, but we might ask you some serious questions. time now for tonight's big number. last week congresswoman michele bachmann lobbed perhaps her craziest charge yet, that barack obama is turning this country into quote, a nation of slaves. it's the kind of talk that brings in tons of fund-raising obviously. it also apparently leads to high turnover in one's congressional office. yesterday two of bachmann's two top staffers left their jobs, her campaign finance director and campaign adviser. how many chiefs of staff has bachmann had in the years she's been in office, five top aides in less than four years. there's leadership for you. congresswoman bachmann drives out five chiefs of staff from
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her own office. tonight's big bad number. up next, conservatives for years have warned liberals that they would try to turn the country into a tyranny, a socialist totalitarian state, and they're at it again about the obama administration. same old line we've heard for decades. funny thing it's never happened. why conservatives keep saying it and why liberals can't shut them up. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. down, down ♪ ♪ and we'll ride the bus there ♪ pay the bus fare ♪ or we find a new reason [ female announcer ] something unexpected to the world of multigrain... taste. ♪ we're going down, down, and we ride the bus there ♪ [ female announcer ] delicious pringles multigrain. ♪ a new way of living [ female announcer ] multigrain pops with pringles.
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hello, i'm jj ramburg. here's what's happening. government officials have given the green light for bp to begin testing that new containment cap. engineers have already started shutting off valves and measuring the pressure. the entire process could take up to 48 hours. a deadly day for u.s. troops in afghanistan. eight service members killed
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across the country including a raid on a police compound in kandahar. former vice president dick cheney revealed he underwent heart surgery last week and says a procedure to implant a small pump in his heart went as planned. an fda panel has recommended keeping the drug avandia on the market despite increased risk of heart related complications. and the federal reserve today lowering its growth forecast for the year. this as retail sales fell for the second month in a row. and new mortgage applications plunged to a 13-year low. now, back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." this should be a joy for some. for years conservatives have been warning that liberals are looking to take down the country. they say that military dictatorship, tyranny and communist domination are inevitable if you like liberals.
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it's been the same old lines for decades, and they have been wrong each and every time. but the same rhetoric prevails again. it continues. here's tom tancredo with the same old line last week. >> i truly believe this. it's not just, you know, sort of a dramatic statement that a person would make to -- to get press or something or ink. i believe this with all my heart, that we -- that the greatest threat to the united states today, the greatest threat to our liberty, the greatest threat to the constitution of the united states, the greatest threat to our way of life, everything we believe in, the greatest threat to the country that was put together by the founding fathers, is the guy that is in the white house today. >> and you'll note he said he didn't do this to get publicity. we're now joined by david corn, the washington editor of "mother jones" and a columnist for daily.com and also the editor of salon.com, joan walsh.
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joan, you'll notice that mr. tancredo, the former congressman said purposefully at the front, i'm not doing this to get ink in the newspapers, but there he is. what did he say, this is the worst threat to humanity to this country in its history and the president this guy in the white house is more dangerous than al qaeda. what is this? >> it's -- it's disgusting. >> what is this? >> it's disgusting, but, you know, we wouldn't be talking about him otherwise. he was a failed -- he was out of congress, a failed, a desperately failed presidential candidate. he's really meaningless in terms of the public discourse except he's found this rabid right set of believers and devotees, chris, and he's making money. chris, and he's out there on the stump talking this crap. >> can't be making that much? >> well, i don't know. >> can he be making that much to say this nonsense? >> i don't know. i'll check on his speaking fees. >> i'm doing this for a reason, mr. corn, and the reason i want to pull the string off the bottom of these trousers and show that this just keep going until there's nothing there. it just continues. rush limbaugh claims that the problem is inside the white house. i can't imitate him completely.
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whoa, let's watch. >> i think we face something we've never faced before in the country and that is we're not governed by people who do not like the country, who do not have the same reverance for it that we do. our greatest threat, and this is saying something, is internal. we have plenty of external threats, enemies across oceans, but we've got a threat inside as well. >> whoa. notice the lower tone he gets. i mean this dark threat to humanity. america is being threatened from within. >> it is dark. >> it's not quite joe mccarthy, but he's working on it. i mean, how can barack obama not like america? he's doing pretty well by america. but you know, it's not just rush limbaugh who is not elected or tom tancredo who doesn't have a job mihm, michelle back man, your old pal.
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>> she's coming up here in a second. >> she said obama is turning us into a nation of slaves. >> okay. she just gave us -- this is known as a roll cue, and now we go back because we'll take a look at michele bachmann because this is the thread i'm pulling off the trousers. this is the way they talk and i'm talking decades. going back in history, here's michele bachmann on our mystery tour heading backwards. >> and how many people in the congress of the united states do you think are anti-american? you've already suspected barack obama? is he alone or are there others? how many do you suspect of your colleagues of being anti-american? >> what i would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. i wish they would. i wish the american media would take a great look at the views of the people in congress and find out are they pro america or anti-america? i think people would be -- would love to see an expose like that. >> joan? >> she's a joe mccarthy -- >> have you done your homework, have you been working on this expose? she gave you this job. >> ever since i saw her i was in my office. i remember the day that aired, chris. i've been on it ever since.
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and my conclusion is, she, michele bachmann is, joe mccarthy in lipstick. that's who she is. >> i'm up to 57. i found 57. i mean, the question that you should put to her is what's anti-american? >> right. >> that's really what we're arguing about here. she's taking political policy, ideological cultural differences and saying if you're not with me, you're an enemy of the state which is what rush said in that clip from the other day, too. >> right. >> you know, we can laugh about it. it's silly. it's wrong. it's idiotic. it's also dangerous. >> it is dangerous. >> i don't expect michele bachmann or rush limbaugh to do anything too ballsy or gutsy about this. people follow them and take it seriously though they shouldn't. >> second amendment remedy. >> yes. >> gathering an army. if there's an enemy of the state in the white house or on the set or in congress, people may take drastic actions. that's what you do when traitors
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take over. >> i'm waiting for the senators to walk on the senate floor with arms. let's take a look at governor george wallace. just to show how far back this thread goes, it's not funny, the charge of anti-americanism and toe talnarianism. they charge anything, anybody slightly to their left is evil and the enemy and the enemy at the gate. >> here he is, george coraly wallace. >> we are winning this fight because we are awakening the american people to the dangers that we have spoken about so many times which is so evident today, the trend towards military dictatorship in this country. >> and you know what? the dictatorship was, letting a couple of black kids get into the university of alabama. >> yes. >> that was the horror story. now they have got -- they have got the -- what do they call it, the best athletes at that university. what do they have, the prom queen and everything else down there. not exactly becoming anti-american down there. it's a more popular place than ever. this fear factor, again back to
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you, joan. fear, fear, fear, and all it was was integration by american who have been in this country 200 or 300 years longer than george wallace's family. >> here's the great thing about our family, chris. every reform movement, whether it's african-americans, it's women, it's labor organizers, going back to fdr, going back beyond fdr, any reform movement that seeks to make life better and share things and take the rough edges off capitalism is blessed with our constitution and with our traditions which let them say we are a better people. we believe in equality, and we're going to do this because we're americans. >> okay. >> and these people fight back by saying it's anti-american, and, you know, i mean -- >> okay. >> i don't play that game. >> ronald reagan ended up being a center right president and before he was a center right president, he was a propagandaist. here he was back in a message in 1961, largely on behalf of the ama, trashing what became medicare. this is the horror story. he's warning us against medicare which every conservative now
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benefits from, back in '61. let's watch. >> write those letters now. call your friends and tell them to write them. if you don't, this program, i promise you, will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow. and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country. until one day as norman thomas said, we will awake to find that we have socialism, and if you don't do this and if i don't do it, one of these days you and i are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in america when men were free. >> well, that was a warning about medicare. >> ronald reagan was wrong. what he predicted did not come true. >> well, he ended up administering the medicare program for eight years. >> and he also expanded some health and welfare programs in california when he became governor a few years after that. he was wrong, but now 40, almost 50 years later, we have sarah
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palin aping those words. we have representative marcia blackburn, republican from tennessee, going on the house floor when they are debating health care and saying today is the death -- is the death of freedom. >> i want to be somewhat fair. let me start with joan and then you, david. why can't the center right and the right simply say that barack obama is to their left? he's a social democrat. he is much more believing in a bigger safety net than we do. it's a matter of margins. it's a matter of degree. it's not the end of the world. why don't they talk like that? >> because then americans would agree with barack obama, because most americans support in every poll, chris, we've got some polarization right now, but in every poll, even right now they want more spending on jobs, more than obama is willing to spend. if they simply said he's a social democrat, he would like to smooth the rough edges of our wonderful capitalist system, we disagree. they would lose. they know that what they have to do is demonize him and terrify americans about him. >> wow. let's see if it works. >> it's not irrelevant that he's black. it's not irrelevant that he's
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black. >> we'll keep getting to that throughout this program. thank you, david corn and thank you, joan walsh. up next, this was kind of fun, wasn't it? a hot debate going on in new york, this isn't fun, where a muslim group wants to build a mosque near the site of ground zero. they say they are against extremism, it's a moderate group apparently, but some family members who lost family members on 9/11 are outraged. let's see how this debate unfolds here on "hardball" in just a minute. you're watching it. transform plain old ribs into these fall-off-the-bone honey bbq ribs.
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welcome back. a proposal to build a muslim center just blocks from ground zero has sparked a fierce debate among some new york who are say it's insensitive to the families of those killed on 9/11 and others who say that such a center actually counters islamic extremism. scott stringer sports the construction of the muslim center and republican michael faulkner opposes pit. he's challenging new york congressman charlie rangel in that upcoming president.
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let me go to the manhattan borough president. you're taking a positive view towards this as a chance to show muslims in new york who want to show moderation and support for, well, being an american, a chance to do so. >> well, first of all, this initiative, this house has been part of the lower manhattan community for 27 years in different places in and around the community. so to suddenly say to this long-standing religious institution that you're not welcome, basically sends the wrong message. we are a community of tolerance. we're a country of religious freedom. and to think any other way would simply give the terrorist who is tried to take away with our freedoms the victory that they long have wanted. i respect the fact that families have grappled with this. obviously, people who have lost loved ones feel that this is a very difficult emotional moment to discuss. but we're a country of religious free.
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we're a city of great tolerance and there's no doubt in my mind that the local community board voted overwhelmingly to allow this to go forward or to recommend that this goes forward, it was the right thing to do, because we're americans first. >> michael faulkner, your view? >> you know, i agree with the borough president in terms of the nature of who are we are as people who respect, love, and honor religious freedom. however, we must understand that religious freedom and tolerance should be done in a way that expresses common sense. this is a sacred burial ground for thousands of people who have lost their lives in the name of islam. those who hijacked the planes who crashed into the world trade center, who killed more than 3,000 new yorkers on that day did it in the name of islam. why should a mosque be built on the site of the deaths of these people? i'm calling on all -- >> is it on the site or is this on -- i thought this was on a
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property that was right next to the world trade center? >> it's right next to the world trade center. it's not on the site itself. >> sir, how wide would you, michael faulkner, like to extend this hollowed ground? manhattan, southern borough of manhattan? >> no, no, listen. i have many muslims in my district. i have gone to mosques, i have worshiped in mosques -- been to worship services in mosques. i'm not anti-muslim, i'm just saying this site should not be built on this particular sacred property simply because of what took place in the name of islam. and those, and especially the imam that is in charge of actually building this has been connected to some of those terrorist activities. >> well, with all do -- >> he's committed some of these activities? who is this guy? what is his name? >> no, no, the imam that is in charge of directing the -- this center. >> he is? >> yes. >> i hadn't heard that.
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go ahead. mr. president, is that true, that there's any problem, any terrorist group involved with this, any difficulty with this in terms of security issues involved at all with this group? mr. stringer. >> let me maybe put this into a different perspective. the reality is this issue has been grabbed by tea party extremists who want to divide this country. they don't really have a way to bring people together. in fact, the tea party leader called me a jewish uncle tom and tried to divide my own community. we reject this kind of hate talk. and i have great respect for reverend faulkner. we're friends. but the bottom line is the people who stayed and rebuilt ground zero, the people who live in this community, they voted to have a discussion about the house, which is basically an initiative to bring people together. to create basketball courts and meeting spaces for the community. and now this is being hijacked, this debate, by extremists. >> mr. stringer, we have to go,
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i'm sorry. michael faulkner, thank you. when we return, let me finish with what president obama needs and who he needs to help turn around his political fortunes. are you suffering from frequent heartburn ?
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let me finish tonight with a totally political commentary. sometimes what's needed is not a change in policy, but an upgrade in politics. this is precisely where president obama stands now.
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he's got a good sellable record. he signed up with president bush to prevent a financial collapse in the fall of 2008. he passed a major jobs stimulus bill, a step that every president since fdr knows is the one and only known way to prevent a second great depression. he passed a health care bill, something every democrat since fdr has been promising, and this week he's going after wall street. so his policies are in place, so now he needs a team, a political posse to go sell it. bill clinton is a centrist democrat with a wow of a record on the economy. when he speaks about an economic boom, about balanced budgets, even about surpluses, people have good reasons to listen, because he presided over them. the fact is that president obama just named clinton's budget director as his new budget director, that's small. seeing bill clinton himself out on the road this fall will be even better. the republicans are running as the party of no this fall. it would be good for the country to see a hefty party on the other side saying yes. let me be blunt. this lone ranger number by

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